Arno and His Horse
Author: Jane Goodwin
Illustrator: Felicita Sala
The illustrations are lush and captivating – lending an incredible air of freedom, as the children in the book romp around with seemingly no adult supervision.
Woe be the parent whose child has lost a favorite toy. This charming book follows Arno as he and his multi-hued group of siblings/cousins/friends (it is not clear), search high and low for Arno’s lost toy horse. The book follows them on river banks, on playgrounds, through the grocery store in search of this beloved toy. In basic verse, the hunt for the horse unfolds:
“Back to the bush, / we ran from here to there. / Mercy said, ‘Your little horse, / it could be anywhere!’”
The story is cast in a rural setting, with rolling hills and vast landscapes. The illustrations are lush and captivating – lending an incredible air of freedom, as the children in the book romp around with seemingly no adult supervision.
About halfway through the book, it is revealed that it is Arno’s grandpa, seemingly deceased, who carved the special horse for him. Grandpa leads Arno to his horse in his dream – or is it reality when Arno goes running off into the wild in the middle of the night by himself to fetch his memento. These are definite narrative gaps but in the best possible way, intended perhaps for the readers to discuss. And maybe, in the end, “that was all that mattered.”
My thanks to Scribble U.S. for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
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